Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A versatile degree

Today is the official NALP reporting deadline, which establishes the cutoff date for determining what sort of employment (if any) the previous spring's law school graduates have managed to obtain in the wake of their ascension to a higher status.  Here's a Craigslist ad that, to anyone who is bothering to pay attention, offers a glimpse into what's actually going on:

Legal File Clerk/Office Assistant for Downtown Boulder Law Office

Excellent opportunity for someone interested in pursuing a legal career, undergrad student interested in law school or law student. Small law firm handling complex and sophisticated estate planning, probate and small business matters seeks a part time assistant to help with word processing, organizing files, and general office assistance.

We are located above the Pearl Street Mall near Broadway, a few blocks from CU campus and just steps away from an RTD/Skip stop. We prefer someone who is seeking a position for at least 2 -- 3 years for this part-time position that offers 10 -- 20 hours a week. Hours are flexible, but need someone who is available Tuesday -- Friday between the hours of 10 am - 5 pm.

Duties Include:
• Filing attorney/client related documents in confidential matters
• Simple computing and word processing; creating CD/DVD with documents for clients
• Standard office tasks such as copying and scanning documents, office errands to the bank and post office and general organization.
• Witnessing the signing of legal documents.
• Researching miscellaneous information for the office (ie office supply prices, package services)
• Communication with suppliers

An ideal candidate has proven academic credentials and good references, can learn new techniques quickly and easily; is able to work independently, multi-task efficiently and be able to follow directions well; is comfortable working with the computer and various programs like Outlook and Word Perfect. Experience with filing, working in a legal office, and Word Perfect skills are desired, but not necessary. Must be reliable, an effective communicator, well-organized, comfortable under pressure and efficient.

Please do not apply if you are an attorney, or are seeking a salaried position.

Send us:
Please send resume, hours you are available, and a brief description of why you would be a good candidate for this position

  • Location: Pearl St. Mall
  • Compensation: $10/hour
  • This is a part-time job.
  • Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.
  • Please, no phone calls about this job!

How many applications is this firm getting from attorneys, given that the lawyers in it are going out of their way to plead with their fellow Members of the Bar not to apply for part-time temporary secretarial work that pays between $100 and $200 per week?

In addition to the level of sheer desperation of which this ad is evidence, consider for a moment the marvelous versatility of a law degree, which besides fully qualifying you to become president of the Pittsburgh Steelers and/or the United States, disqualifies you from an almost endless array of jobs for which you were perfectly well qualified before you became an official member of a Learned Profession.

This is perhaps the dirtiest of our many dirty little secrets: if it should turn out you can't use your law degree to have a real legal career, then it's far from clear that going to law school will end up being a net positive for you even if we don't take into account either the direct or the opportunity costs you incurred in getting that degree.  This is because, far from being "versatile," a law degree can easily end up being career poison on a resume.  Although of course there are always exceptions, non-legal employers don't like to hire lawyers, and indeed legal employers don't like to hire lawyers for non-lawyer jobs.   (A total of 278 out of more than 44,000 2010 law graduates were working in non-attorney positions for law firms nine months after graduation, while nearly 20 times that number remained completely unemployed).

This is another way of saying that, for the more than half of current law students who aren't going to have real legal careers -- defined as working as a lawyer for long enough to justify the cost of having attended law school in the first place -- they would have been better off not going to law school at all, even if they could have attended with the benefit of full tuition and cost of living scholarships, i.e., for "free." (In quotation marks because even the extremely rare genuine full ride scholarship doesn't pay for opportunity costs incurred).

Why do employers, both non-legal and legal, dislike hiring lawyers for non-lawyer jobs?  Several explanations have been put forward by some of the countless numbers of recent and not-so-recent law grads who have encountered the JD stigma effect.  Some employers are under the misapprehension that a lawyer applying for a non-lawyer job is likely to leave that job very soon, because surely he or she will leap back into the exciting and high-paying world of legal practice at the first opportunity.  Others make the under the circumstances understandable mistake of thinking that lawyers who can't get jobs as lawyers must have something wrong with them (would you hire a doctor who couldn't get a job as a doctor?)  Still others, oddly enough, consider lawyers to be, relative to the average worker, argumentative people who are unusually attuned to their putative rights as employees.  There are no doubt additional explanations as well.

Few if any aspects of the ongoing collapse of the current model of American legal education are more disturbing than this:  It's not just that the direct cost of becoming a lawyer have skyrocketed at the same time that the benefits (in the form of actual legal employment) have declined. It's that the indirect cost of getting a JD, in the remarkably perverse form of rendering many people who were previously employable much less employable, has become enormous.


  1. What school you go to really matters on this score.

  2. 1. Others make the under the circumstances understandable mistake of thinking that lawyers who can't get jobs as lawyers must have something wrong with them (would you hire a doctor who couldn't get a job as a doctor?)

    Is it just "you are too stupid to get a job as an attorney"? Is it also "you are too stupid to realize that you are too stupid to get a job as an attorney"? More darkly, is it also "you are so passive that you prefer the 17th through 19th grades to something else despite being too stupid to get a job as an attorney"?

  3. Plus, employers are just flat out picky when it comes to entry level jobs.

    Why bother taking a chance on a lawyer who might jump ship when you have 300 other 20-somethings with great grades who are clamoring to work for less than you originally planned on offering?

  4. 8:47, please elaborate.

    The specific stigmas Lawprof is talking about here would apply double to an elite grad.  An elite grad would be turned down faster for this particular $10 position than a gTTT grad would.  Lawprof is talking about the stigma of being "overqualified", of having education credentials disproportionate to the job you are applying for.

    Whether or not elite law grads can get jobs where they are not overqualified is another topic entirely.  I've heard it said here that Harvard Law grads have an easy time finding employment with consulting firms and investment banks and the like.  I don't know if I believe that, but that's something different.   

  5. I still find the Michigan State stats (documented to still have some gaps) fascinating. Perhaps because of my own experience, I find them (as well as the other, more elite institutions that have begun to adapt) the most realistic. Comparing those stats to the cost of degree, I am very interested to see what effect that has on the MSU Law School enrollment.

  6. Having a graduate degree and applying for a low level job is also part of the stigma. You would observe a similar stigma for anyone with a masters level degree on their resume, if they are applying for a low level job (less than $20 per hour).

    It is very likely a stronger stigma for lawyers because we have the added non-law employer thinking "I hate lawyers" also to deal with. But I think the primary stigma is the graduate degree applying for the job that has nothing to do with his degree. Any employer would question why that candidate is applying and are they likely to just leave ASAP.

  7. Fron former Biglaw associate Will Meyerhofer, on November 3, 2010

    "For the record, a law degree is not “versatile.” Being a lawyer amounts to a strike against you if you ever decide to pursue another career.

    So why do people keep insisting it’s an “extremely versatile degree”?

    A bunch of reasons.

    Law schools are in it for the money. Teaching law doesn’t cost much, but they charge a fortune – made possible by not-dischargable-in-bankruptcy loans. That makes each law school a massive cash cow for the rest of the university. Money flowing from the law school pays the heating bill for the not-so-profitable Department of Neo-Structuralist Linguistics.

    Law students play along with the “extremely versatile degree” farce to justify the three years of their life and the ungodly pile of cash they’re blowing on a degree they’re not interested in and know nothing about. This myth is also intended to calm down parents. You need a story to explain why you don’t have a job, but that it’s somehow okay.

    No one else cares. And that’s chiefly why this old canard still has some life left in it."

  8. How sad that that organization wouldn't take attorneys. I know MANY recent grads (although not necessarily in that geographical region) who would be so grateful for the opportunity to work for $10 an hour in a law office (although of course, they wouldn't be able to pay back their law school debt, but that's a given nowadays.)

    Almost all of the recent grads I know are making the same wages, but in retail positions, so how sad that their JD makes it impossible for them to get a job in a LEGAL environment. Maybe another reason legal employers don't want JDs is because they know (being somewhat familiar with the costs of legal education, although not aware of how much it has recently skyrocketed)that on such a salary, a lawyer will have difficulty paying back his or her debt from law school and individuals who cannot pay back their debt do not make for happy employees.

  9. Prof. Campos

    I think you should open up a debate with David Thompson. He is a great legal writing professor at DU. Unfortunately, he is mixing and drinking the Kool-Aid at the same time.

    Here is his last post:

  10. I work in information technology. I find this blog highly entertaining in a schadenfreude sort of way. Reading this blog has sort of become a side hobby of mine since I once considered going to law school (father was a lawyer).

    While I have a bit of sympathy for the tens of thousands of people ruining their lives in law school, I also cannot help but just feel happy. Lawyers really are annoying people.

    I am in a position to hire within our information technology group. Even if the candidate has an undergraduate degree in Computer Science and work experience (before law school) I would likely reject a law school grad. I would wonder why the person left information technology. Clearly the person wasn't happy in it and wanted to seek another career.

    Knowing what I know now about what lawyers actually make, I would also question the basic intelligence of any law school graduate. Anyone going to law school these days must be retarded if they are not aware of how bad it is.

  11. Relatively recent Harvard Law School grad here (past five years).

    Yes, I know a number of classmates and other alums who are or have worked at i-banks, private equity funds, hedge funds, and major consultancies since graduation. Others have started businesses and probably have more credibility with investors because of their background. I would venture that a higher percentage of HLS alums are doing these things -- finding non-law jobs in the private sector -- than alums from any other law school. However, I would say the number of people pursuing all these paths combined is small. The individuals stand out in my mind because they are the exception. Most of us are in law.

    That said, many of us are now leaving BigLaw (including me). As fortunate as I feel to have options, I'm acutely aware that that is not universally the case. And, frankly, the non-BigLaw options within law are not that exciting because, frankly, law is not that exciting. But that is not a recent development, just something many people don't realize before law school. I'm happy I went to law school because I enjoyed it and got an excellent education, and because the HLS degree genuinely opens doors. I am not sure that is also true for the other 199 law schools.

  12. Many people only come into contact with the court system during their divorce. That tends to make many hate lawyers because they identify them with the prick who was representing their spouse.

    Lawyers have a reputation for being litigious, argumentive, and interested in obtaining higher salaries.

    Almost any HR person would decide if they had two similarly qualified people applying for a non law position, to pitch the resume with the JD on it, rather than risk a possible nightmare employee.

  13. "Today is the official NALP reporting deadline, which establishes the cutoff date for determining what sort of employment (if any) the previous spring's law school graduates have managed to obtain in the wake of their ascension to a higher status."

    Really? I never recieved a survey. I have been solicited for a donation so someone somewhere has my address, but I must have been deemed "unreachable." I wonder how often people in the top 10% of a class are unreachable?

  14. @10:04 AM

    But the person with the JD is likely not as qualified. That JD cost the person 3 years of relevant experience that could have been aimed at the desired non-law job. In other fields there are plenty of unemployed candidates with relevant experience that is mostly current.

    The common alternative career suggested by law grads is teaching. Forget about that. With budget cuts nationwide, there are plenty of excellent teachers looking for work.

  15. @10:10
    Have you checked your school e-mail recently?
    That's how my school did it, by sending it through our (old) school e-mails. It's kind of a silly way if you think about it; the only reason I check that e-mail still is because I'm unemployed (and reported) and use that one on my resume. If I had work, I probably never would.

  16. The odds are that law grads are much less qualified for non-law jobs due to the 3-4 years gap in their work history. While you were getting that law degree and wasting a year looking for a job, people with an undergraduate degree were actually working in their field of choice. That person is going to beat you in the job interview.

    Career changers have a higher bar to meet to prove then are qualified in the new field they are aiming at. That is exactly what a law grad is when seeking soemthing else.

    The best thing I can think of for a failed law grad would be to get an accounting degree and CPA. That combo of law degree and CPA would actually stand out because there are so many referrals made between lawyers and accountants. That type of person would have a real shot at recovering from a bad law school decision and still having a career in law.

  17. @ 10:18 - -

    School is the problem, so why prescribe more school? Additional debt seems like an unwise decision to me.

  18. Anyone applying for a low level job with a higher level degree would prompt suspicion. It would be seen as inappropriate, much as if a person with a college degree applied for a job stocking groceries.

  19. Does anyone know where this is from?

    I saw it posted on a law forum on a comedy site, but I haven't seen it posted anywhere else. Is it legit?

  20. My (unfounded, stupid) belief in a form of versatility is what got me in the mess I'm in today. "Well, fuck the practice of law; why wouldn't I just be able to fall ass-backwards into fedgov work or private sector compliance?" For that personal reason, I consider it the most pernicious of all law school misrepresentations.

    I'll let you guys know if the Koreans and Chinese hate American lawyers too. I would hope the J.D. at least conclusively proves I speak English.

  21. Well, you could say lawyers are litigious, argumentative, etc., or it could just be that they actually are more informed of their rights as employees, and the bosses would prefer not to honor those rights.

    For example, whistle-blower statutes are supposed to protect employees from retribution if they tell authorities about companies' legal violations. But the bosses would rather be able to violate the laws and keep employees in fear.

    (And BTW, I am not a lawyer.)

  22. Much of this talk about the versitility of a law degree conflates the value of a law degree per se with the value of the knowledge and experience gained in years of successful practice. A number of lawyers have, for example, risen to become CEO's of, public companies, university presidents, and similar positions. And uniformly you will find that it is after a long career representing these institutions, or similar institutions, during which they gained valuable knowledge and experience about the institutions' business. Anyone attributing the rise of a Fortune 500 GC to the CEO's position to the "versitility of a law degree" is either blowing smoke or, in thye words of my favorite philosopher "Foolish and Deluded."


  23. @9:34--An HYS grad applying for a position as a file clerk would not be a sign of a structural problems with law school, it would be a sign that some serious things had gone wrong in that person's life--bad luck, ill health, personal problems.

    Few things in life are "easy" , but it is easier for people from elite law schools to transition into non- law jobs that are high paying, or high prestige.

  24. Also, from the responses to B1LY's article, linked at the end of the OP:

    "I graduated from a top-3 law school without having a job lined up as my plans changed in my 3L year, and I ended up moving to a small market where my partner had a tenure-track professor job. At first, my plan was to find a job outside of law as I didn't really enjoy the legal work that I did during my summers. However, I found my JD to put me at a huge disadvantage, despite, or perhaps due to, graduating from a top school. I then ended up taking the bar, figuring I would have better luck as an attorney. That has not worked out as there are very few entry level positions and most legal employers see me as damaged goods at this point. Even though I probably graduated in the top 25% of my class (my school did not rank graduates), I am apparently no longer deemed competent to do even basic document review.

    I am the first to admit that a large part of this is due to poor planning on my part and perhaps being too committed to my relationship with my partner. I just need to find a way to move beyond this and actually start some sort of career."

  25. I've admitted this before - I fell for exactly this "versatility" line. Even going to law school for free, I'm almost certain that the opportunity cost wasn't worth it.

  26. I do not know  as much about NYU. But I would think an NYU law grad could get a job other than being a file clerk. They might have to move. And there would still be the problem of paying back loans. But the question was about getting any job. The people applying for clerk's positions, rightly, do not think the job will be a good way to pay off their loans. They just want a job. So, on the pure question of getting a job, what I know of NYU law would suggest that people who graduate from there should be, barring the kind of misfortune that can hit us all, be able to get a job other than file clerk.

    On the question of high paying jobs other than in the law, I would guess that HLS because of its history, size, and network would provide more opportunities. Stanford, because of its location, opens up the West and, for the past couple decades, Silicon Valley to its graduates. Both universities have first rate business schools- ranked either 1 or 2 in many surveys. They have joint degree programs, and even students who are not in those programs socialize with and,sometimes, marry one another.NYU 's Stern school is first rate, too. I would not think it has the same reputation or resources as HBS, who last year sent on its own dime an entire class --900 people-- with some faculty and staff to about 10 cities around the world for a week. 

    Yale, who sends almost half of its small class to clerkships every year really is more known for producing as many professors as practitioners. Of course that is a stereotype. But, many of their graduates measure prestige in a different way. 10:54

  27. I beg of you, if you want to have a circle jerk about HYS law, can you go to your chat room or your choate class of 1998 reunion message board.

    You chumps make me want to throw a brick though a Volvo's windshield.

  28. Lol. My school just had a lunch presentation on alternative careers and "following your passion."

  29. I am willing to bet that lawprof mentioned NYU because that is where Billy went to school. He's the guy who could not get a job as a contracts administrator or any job at target.

    Lawprof wasn't asking you to discuss which top 3 schools give a better outcome.

  30. "You chumps make me want to throw a brick though a Volvo's windshield."

    Quote of the day. I love it. +10

  31. @12:11-- I think he was asking me if NYU was the same as those 3 schools for purposes of the statement I made at 10:54 in response to a comment about HLS at 9:34. That is an elaborate way of saying "Well, he/she --someone else--started it." And how could I answer without distinguishing the four schools? If I had just said, yes it is the same, or no it is not, he may have asked--if he was truly interested in this--why. I decided to lay out what may distinguish the four schools. With that said, I agree with you 100 percent.
    HYS should not be a part of this discussion.
    And, Volvos? You are about 20 years behind in your cliches.

  32. And, Volvos? You are about 20 years behind in your cliches.

    What do you drive, tweed jacket?

    I want to stay current in hating on the landed gentry.

  33. On this issue, the schools get help from people in my position, mid-career professionals (or as HR thinks of us, "too old") who see the pain coming after two years of professional rejection and just return to the last position held. "Look at John! He's ____ with the federal government!"

    Nobody at my school or anyone else's will put an asterisk next to my outcome saying, "Results entirely dependent on previous career, and praise Jesus that the Feds' HR doesn't discriminate against non-lawyer JDs the way that everybody else does."

  34. Tweed jacket? More played out cliches.

    Enough. Law Prof raised a serious issue. This kind of tit for tat is not worthy of it. So, I will say, "You win. You are the wittiest, funniest, most radicalest (sic,-- I can't help it) person out there." You win.

  35. Yes, but 10:54, a lot of people take the risk of law school because they assume incorrectly that they can "downgrade" to some sort of lesser career/job if plan A doesn't pan out. That is going to be true of elite grads as well. They must obtain a job worthy of their prestigious degree or no job at all. You can't just become a paralegal. That is the myth that needs to be dispelled. And I don't even blame law schools for this one. A lot of young people believe in some version of this myth.

  36. John, do you work for the fedgov?

    Something I'd really like to know is how many other people with J.D.s were applying to the same jobs I was (and am, but at a somewhat reduced, discouraged frequency).

    Sadly, I realize that it's completely possible that for the contract specialist gig, or even the park office clerk gig, I was competing against a thousand or more un/underemployed J.D.s.

    This also applies to stategov positions, although the numbers are probably lower (although God knows, it's the Internet; maybe they aren't).

    This is, of course, on top of the thousands of experienced lawyers who want out/need out; and the tens or hundreds of thousands of bachelor's degree holders, or people who have some related work experience. Or veterans.

    Am I wrong to think that time, the balloon of higher education, and the easy access of the Internet has kind of fucked up the approaches to the civil service?

    When my dad got out of teaching, he really did just stumble into civil service, and basically had no real competition except for veterans with bachelor's degrees. His M.A. was in history, for Christ's sake. Ancient history. And he was way good at his job--he could've advanced forever, I suppose, but he hated management.

    You'd think a J.D., from the same school, would be at least marginally better training for working with the CFR than taking classes on numismatics and writing an 80 page paper on the Bar Kokhba rebellion (spoiler: they lost), but whatever, I guess. It was a different age.

  37. Uh, my question to John is kind of stupid on rereading. I meant to say "what do you do with the federal government?" I wish there were an edit function.

  38. I'm 12:11- maybe lawprof can explain why he mentioned Nyu.

  39. I mentioned NYU because B1LY (who wrote the mordantly funny piece on getting rejected by Target linked at the end of the OP) graduated from there in 2008, worked in BIGLAW for two years, got Lathamed, and has been completely unemployed for two years since. I don't know him well but I know him well enough to know he's an extremely smart guy with a lot of talent for writing and no apparent major personality disorders. That hasn't kept him from ending up unemployed and *literally unemployable* at the moment.

    Note that his story, as recorded in the NALP statistics, counts as a strong argument for going to NYU, since he was making $160K nine months out of law school.

  40. @ 1:00, 10:54 here--and that is why the issue of cost is so important.  Graduates who want to (and have the opportunity to) work in public interest jobs or public sector jobs cannot do that. Graduates who decide practice is not for them have to keep going to pay off loans. Of course, graduates who cannot even get jobs  are in the worst position of all.

     There should be lower cost public alternatives for people who want to become, or think they want to become, lawyers. We have been over all of this before, but the problem of  law school costs cannot be considered apart from the cost of higher education in general. They can be talked about separately, as we do here a lot. But any solutions,  if there are to be any, will involve the system as a whole

  41. He mentioned NYU because it is well known to people who spend too much time on this blog that BL1Y, an alum of NYU and biglaw, was unable to get a lowly job at Target.

    12:35 wants to make the point that graduates from elite schools have more non-law options than graduates from other schools do. That is fine, I don't think anybody is contesting that, and I don't think that's really what lawprof is talking about in this particular post.

    He is talking about the way the law degree makes it hard to get lowly jobs, the sort that HLS grads probably don't have to resort to applying to (although they wouldn't get them either if they did). For a lot of people, taking a lowly job is the best and only thing they can other than remain unemployed and the law degree can't even help them do that. It actually hurts.

  42. @Mikoyan/1:16 p.m.:

    I work for the Department of Transportation in a non-law capacity.

  43. 9:34 said she/he was not sure if she/he believed it would be easy for HLS grads to get what amounts to high paying non- legal jobs. I chimed in to say that an HYS graduate applying for a job as a file clerk would not be taken as a symbol of structural problems with law schools in general. Then LawProf asked if I would say the same about NYU. I answered and with, whoever that person was, that HYS does not belong in this discussion.

  44. "Comparing those stats to the cost of degree, I am very interested to see what effect that has on the MSU Law School enrollment."

    Bet you $10,000 they won't change much. Hopefully you know why at his point...

  45. I just received this lovely email from the US Attorney's Office. Possibility of 12 month employment in a state half way across the country wahhooooo! I guess technically I would be "employed" as a "lawyer" under law school standards at least. Can you say career security!!!

    "As noted in the posting, this position is for a term of employment that will not exceed 12 months. However, the incumbent may be converted to a permanent position as an Assistant United States Attorney without further competition at any time within that term.

    If you would like to be considered for this new 12-month term position as well as the permanent position for which your application is currently pending, please respond to this email indicating your interest."

  46. Legal employers don't like to hire lawyers for positions of non-Attorneys in law firms because there is a chance that person would actually learn skills, such as filing a bankruptcy, doing a personal injury case, or representing a criminal defendant, that would be marketable and they could then compete against that law firm by offering their services at reduced rates, or poach their clients. Law firms know that new attorneys don't know a single thing about practicing law that allows them to generate revenue. Why potentially train competition?

  47. The Boomers' scheme to steal from their own children and grandchildren via debt (including student loan debt) appears to have backfired a bit as parents are taking out an increasingly large amount of student loans.

    The Boomers. They can't even steal right.

  48. Speaking of the cost of law school, and the lack of jobs at nine months. I come from an extremely small subset of the population. As a person with a disability (I'm blind) the federal government via the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 funded all of my college, and 80% of my law school tuition and books. This provision in the act exists because people with disabilities have a 70% unemployment rate, so the idea is that a better education will make you more competitive against your able-bodied peers. Sad fact is, we have a highly educated subset of the population (I'm speaking of blind people) but basically free education has not meaningfully brought down the unemployment rate, or you end up underemployed.

    My point being that cheaper does not equal better outcomes...

  49. Probably the strongest reason for not hiring an attorney for a non-attorney position is that graduates have it drilled into their heads that the way to get a real job is to get a starter job (as an intern, part-timer, or entry-level person) and do so well in that job that the employer will be compelled to take you on full time (or at least to get the experience that you need to go full time somewhere else). When said graduates find out in the fullness of time that is not the case, said graduates tend to be quite stroppy and unpleasant about it. And if said graduates don't have the good sense to leave on their own, you have the unenviable prospect of putting up with said graduates and the effects on morale that said graduates have on the rest of the employees. (Which is why the door is shut not merely to attorneys but to all people who are seeking a salaried position. The fear is not that you have valuable skills that allow you to leave at any time, the fear is that you will take the dead-end job and never leave.)

  50. SD Attny - I think you would be employed as a lawyer, for a year at least, maybe longer. With good training. It does not seem problematic for a school to report that.

  51. @4:39 It would be problematic because it has taken me 3 years (as an '09 grad) for even the chance to be considered for a 12 month only guaranteed position that is half-way across the country from where I live. Who knows how long after the position ends it would take me to find another "full time" attorney position (maybe another 3 years?). What is the percentage that a full time spot will in fact open up at the US Attorney's Office? But law schools could state that they "placed" another "full time attorney" in the US Attorney's Office to prospective students without the full story of the extreme sacrifices by me and my family behind it. I know at-will employees can be terminated at anytime, but for the government to claim that it's a 12 month only position indicates that I will not be able to fulfill my mandatory 1 year probationary period and therefore not receive civil servant protection and start accruing time for potential savings benefits to vest. Is a series of 12 month only positions having to consistently relocate across the country really what it means to be a "full time practicing attorney"?

  52. I think it's a stretch to assume that many of these people from TTT's were previously employable.

  53. I got pretty lucky in that I was able to literally fall ass backwards into a corporate contracts administration position. I'm still struggling and it isn't JD required but I feel sort of lucky in that the degree doesn't seem to work against me and I'm part of the general counsel's office so there isn't the same level of shame when dealing with friends and relatives.

    My in came from a long term temp job I worked right after I took the bar. A friend of mine told me they were taking JD's for a compliance project and I guess I made an impression. The other lawyers who got brought in were sort of bums, constantly late, never taking the place seriously, and doing incredibly stupid things (one guy mass e-mailed a whole bunch of people's social security numbers all over the company). They went on to more doc review projects while I stayed on for 6 months. After a short and disastrous stint at a shitlaw firm I got offered a permanent spot in my company's contracts department, again not as an attorney, but fuck it.

    There's no guarantees but I'd advise people to try and branch out from the doc review stuff. Those jobs don't seem to ever lead anywhere but getting into contracts or compliance is a decent way to salvage something where they aren't necessarily as hostile to JD's.

  54. At 6:29

    Spoken like a true spoiled ass-hat.

  55. Not only could I not get a job at Target, but watch this, I'm totally going to make your head explode in 5...




    I got accepted to an MFA (creative writing) program yesterday.

    1! Headsplode!

  56. Congrats bl1y! Im an avid reader of Constitutional Daily. The MFA should keep you away from the bottle and improve your health and overall well being.

  57. Apparently my buddy's ESL employers in Korea *loved* the J.D. on my resume. Apparently the word "doctor" is like the queen of diamonds for these dudes.

    Well, hell, unbelievable ignorance aside, I'm glad I didn't get an LL.B. like a total schmuck, or Canadian. Thanks Dean Langdell. It's about time your ridiculous "science of the law" scam started working for me.

  58. Congratulations, BL1Y. You clearly do have a gift for creative writing.

  59. @8:15: Yeah, I'm totally counting on that stereotype of writers being teetotalers to be true...

  60. Congrats b1ly!!! I am really happy for you!!

  61. Two antecdotes related to the Harvard and NYU comments upthread:

    1. At a networking event last fall, a hiring partner at a major Boston law firm told me that he heard that about half of HLS '11 was unemployed as of the start of October.

    2. I know of a NYU Stern grad who is working at an Apple Store in the Boston suburbs.

    The economy, if anything, is worse than we can paint it in these blogs.

  62. The hiring prartner heard wrong...spreading rumors to sow discord.

  63. I want to say for the most part that my three years of law school was a waste - not a total waste. I went to a top 25-30 law school, but I was an older student when I went. Law firms for the most part have no interest in older students unless you are a spectacular student. I wasn't. Fortunately, my law school debt was under $15,000 and I paid for it out of my pocket. I would be sick if I had borrowed $100,000 plus to go to law school. The law school degree has little versatility. I was one of those people who was duped into thinking that law school was a good move, and it would open up all kinds of doors. Not! I now understand why a lawyer asked me the question "Why do you want to go to law school?" She asked me the question like I had a screw loose. I guess I thought it was cool to go to law school, but I now understand her question. I try to direct people away from law school and I have been some what successful. I have also informed them if they must go to law school, get an additional degree MBA, MSW, MD, etc. I have also told people to go into fields where they can make money when they finish such as nursing, occupational therapist, physician, physical therapists, etc. I don't think going law school helped me much. It may have impressed some people that I completed the degree, but with so many law schools even that is becoming a joke. I can say that at least I got the bug out of my system, and I got the opportunity to work at a large tech company.


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